The Best Reinterpretation of Pac-Man I’ve Ever Seen…

…is this Threadless T-shirt design whose title is The Madness of Mission 6:

Threadless T-shirt design: The Madness of Mission 6
Click the image to see the t-shirt order page.


Do Not Learn Ruby, Python or Perl

Ruby ruby, Perl camel and Python logo

It started with the article titled Do Not Learn Ruby, after which came a response titled Do Not Learn Perl, and then came Do Not Learn Python.

Why shouldn’t you learn these languages? Because they’ll get under your skin. You’ll start to loathe whatever other programming language you’re working on, especially if it’s statically compiled. You’ll start thinking it’s impossible for you to keep using the technology you’re currently using at work.

The moral of the story: don’t use these languages!


Taliban Wants Mobile Phones Shut Off at Night

The Taliban wants mobile phone networks shut off at night. It’s less about their war on all things fun and more about their belief that American soldiers and rebels within Afghanistan are using mobile phones to track down remaining Taliban members. Afghanistan’s 4 mobile phone operators were told to expect their towers and offices to start exploding if they don’t shut down their networks between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.. Ironically, these demands were made via mobile phone.


DemoCamp 17 Tonight!

DemoCamp Toronto 17 logo

DemoCamp 17 takes place tonight. If you wanted to see what’s on tonight’s agenda, see this entry of mine featuring abstracts for tonight’s demos and Ignite presentations.

Please note that tonight’s DemoCamp is sold out. What this means depends on your situation:

  • If you have a ticket: You’re on easy street. Show up between 5:00 and 6:00 this evening and you’re in.
  • If you DON’T have a ticket: It’s tricky, but you might have a chance of getting in. There are always some no-shows, and we let them in if there’s still space in the room (fire regulations keep us from packing the place). Failing that, you can always catch up with us at the after-party at the Duke of Westminster at 9:00 p.m..

“Sorry, Boys, This is Our Domain”

Lauren Renner, Martina Butler, Sarada Cleary

The New York Times has an article titled Sorry, Boys, This is Our Domain that opens with “The prototypical computer whiz of popular imagination — pasty, geeky, male — has failed to live up to his reputation. Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites) are not misfits resembling the Lone Gunmen of ‘The X Files’. On the contrary, the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls.”


Demos and Ignite Presentations at Monday’s DemoCamp

DemoCamp Toronto 17 logo

This Monday, February 25th, marks the 17th DemoCamp Toronto, the regularly-held gathering where the bright lights of Toronto’s high-tech and startup scene get together to show off their current projects and presentation and exchange information and ideas. Instigated by David Crow, Toronto’s hardest-working tech evangelist and stewarded by him, Leila Boujnane, Jay Goldman, Greg Wilson and Yours Truly.

Unfortunately, all the “tickets” to this event — most of which are free and a few of which were available for very reasonable sponsorship fees ($5, $10 and $200) — sold out in a couple of days.

For those who managed to get tickets, DemoCamp 17 will take place at the Toronto Board of Trade in First Canadian Place. Here’s the schedule:

  • 5:00: Doors open
  • 6:00 – 7:00pm: Demos
  • 7:30 – 8:00pm: Ignite Presentations
  • 9:00: Duke of Westminster for drinks!

Hope to see you there!

The Demos


Scenecaster screenshot.

Presenter (and my former co-worker) Alain Chesnais says: “We will demo the SceneCaster 3D solution with our recently announced SceneWeaver technology that allows you to view inter linked 3D scenes on any XHTML ready device. If you have native 3D support available, we will take advantage of it. But you don’t need to be on a high end gaming PC to work with SceneCaster. We will show the solution working on an iPod Touch to demonstrate that we have ‘3D anywhere” technology ‘available today.”


PlanetEye screenshot.

Here’s the word from presenter Mark Evans: “PlanetEye is a new online travel guide with a difference. We’re combining beautiful travel photographs, mapping technology and advice from locals and travelers to give people a real sense of destinations around the world.”


AskItOnline screenshot

Presenter Kaitlyn MacLachlan tells us: “AskItOnline is a ‘web 2.0’ online service that allows you to easily create and deploy your surveys online. Using a drag ‘n drop interface along with AJAX and other client-side code, creating a survey has never been easier!”


GigPark screenshot

Pema Hegan and Noah Godfrey will be presenting this one. They say: “GigPark is a way to find services with the help of your friends. TorCampers have already recommended their favourite web designers, blog hosting companies, startup lawyers, commercial real estate agents, office cleaners, accountants, and logo designers. We’re going to show everyone how they can use GigPark to find the service providers they need to help run their startups (and their lives).”

.NET Development on a Mac

MonoDevelop screenshot

The word from presenter Geoff Norton: “The Mono project has just released our first version of MonoDevelop running natively on the Mac (no X11). We think its a compelling (and free) alternative to booting up VMWare/Parallels and running Visual Studio.”

The Ignite Presentations

Social Services Mashup

OCASI: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Here’s the abstract from presenter Clara Severino:

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Partnership Platform, which acts a catalyst between non-profits and the IT sector, have partnered to explore more intuitive and user-friendly approaches to locating services and organizations of interest in Ontario’s neighbourhoods.

The main objective for the project is to amalgamate both privately and publicly available data from various online sources, to develop a centralized database of services and organizations of interest to newcomers to Ontario’s neighbourhoods in order to provide users with an interactive visual representation of desired services mapped to a specified region. The potential for expansion of services and customization in the future is huge! A number of non-profit organizations have already expressed interest in using this application for their own audience.

Our intention is to get feedback from the tech community to improve our solution and raise awareness of the impact of technology on the non-profit sector.

This innovative initiative is a great way of getting both the non-profit sector and the tech community to come together to improve quality of life.

The Future is Simple

The future of communications is simple

Presenter Geo Perdis tells us:

I would like to talk about the future of communications and my belief that it is simple. That is to say that simplicity will rule in a world where more and more media come at us faster and faster and compete for our finite attention.

This presentation would be an extension of a micromedia riff that I did back in November 2007 for a micromedia meetup. See and

With respect to selecting this talk, I think that I can provide a balanced perspective on some unique services possibilities and opportunities that the Toronto-area technology and media community can lead in defining, developing and deploying here and around the world.

In turn, I would hope that the community would get some additional insights as to what we can do locally that is unique and original to our circumstances, conditions and location.

Leveraging Things Wide Open

Mike Beltzner

This will be a presentation by Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner.

How to Rock SXSW

Rannie Turingan

Rannie “Photojunkie” Turingan will give us a taste of the presentation he’ll be giving at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Here’s the abstract:

Where should you go? What parties are cool? How can I meet those people that are *gasp* Internet FAMOUS! Learn this and more at this welcome panel for SXSW Noobs. This panel will provide useful tips for SXSW virgins and veterans from a diverse panel of SXSW Interactive attendees, speakers, and personalities. Come for the laughs, anecdotes, and useful tools that will equip you to “Rawk Out” during SXSW Interactive. I mean, why should Music and Film attendees have all the fun?

The State of Wireless in Canada Sucks

Graph: Canadian mobile data rates compared with those from around the world

Even war-ravaged Rwanda has better mobile rates than we in Canada do! Presenter Tom Purves explains this sad state of wireless affairs.


Responses to “Ideas to Steal from Silicon Valley and Seattle”

A couple of articles have already appeared in response to Ideas to Steal from Silicon Valley and Seattle:

Chris Ragobeer: An Open Letter to Toronto’s Technology Community

Chris RagobeerOver at The Toronto Marketing and Technology Blog, Chris Ragobeer wrote an article titled An Open Letter to Toronto’s Technology Community. In the article, Chris lists these things:

  • Things that Toronto already has that will help in turning the city into a high-tech hub.
  • Things Toronto needs to establish or acquire in order to turn the city into a high-tech hub.
  • Some suggested actions that the local high-tech community can take.

David Crow: Harnessing Hogtown’s Hominids for High-Tech Hijinks and Hubs

David CrowDavid Crow (who recently was voted Toronto’s best tech evangelist at BlogTO, running against some pretty stiff competition including Yours Truly) also responded to my article in a piece with an extremely alliterative title: Harnessing Hogtown’s Hominids for High-Tech Hijinks and Hubs. In the article, he makes these points:

  • Where is our “Fairchild” that creates our own “Fairchildren”? “Can you name big successful software companies that have started in Toronto? More importantly, can you name successful companies that have started because the founders were members of another “parent” company? Why has RIM or Nortel not created a strong spinoff culture?”
  • One possible source of “Fairchildren” might be people who’ve spent time in Silicon Valley and other hubs, who’ve either returned or migrated to Toronto to start companies here. They bring with them experience and connections and “might be a better hope for new wealth creation in Toronto in the high-tech sector.”
  • ICT Toronto is a joke. David’s feeling about City Hall’s attempt to bolster Toronto’s standing as a high-tech hub is similar to mine: “We have a fascination with self-congratulatory bullshit efforts!” Last year’s TechWeek was a non-event that registered on almost nobody’s radar, and I have my doubts about this year’s. Their goals are misguided, and they have no idea of what it means to be local technology company. They seem to be focused on on turning Toronto into a place to do “nearsourcing”, in which case they might as well come up with a marketing campaign like “Toronto: The Bangalore Next Door” and resign us to the fate of being a call center hub.